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The Road to Singapore (1931)
If Nick Charles Was NOT A Detective
The Road To Singapore is without question a Pre-Code Movie, the scenes involving Philippa Crosby March (Doris Kenyon), and her Sister In-Law, Rene (Marian Marsh) in Hugh Dawltry's (William Powell)home (as well as the ending, which I will not spoil), would not be allowed a few years later. The thing that is interesting is seeing Powell playing Dawltry who although is a cad, essentially is an early version of Nick Charles (complete with his dress, mannerisms, and of course drinking) without the crime aspect to it. When you take Dawltry, and combine him with Philo Vance, you get Nick Charles. The biggest problem with this movie, is something unnecessary.. the drums. I have no idea why Warner Brothers chose to constantly play them in the movie, but they did, and it very much ruins the movie for me. 7 of 10 Stars
High Pressure (1932)
Brent Almost Ruins It
This is number 36 on the William Powell list of movies that I have seen, and if you like Powell, it should be a must see. First and foremost a sales movie, and there are very few people who could actually play Con Man/Sales Motivator Gar Evans and actually make him likable. Besides Powell, they are Gable, Cagney, John Barrymore, Edward G. Robinson and Warren William. Powell who would later play a variation of Gar Evans as Bill Chandler in "Libeled Lady" is perfect in his role, as are most of the supporting cast especially Frank McHugh (Mike Donahey), and an actor I never noticed before, George Sidney (Col. Ginsburg). I also liked Evalyn Knapp who was really beautiful in her role as Helen Wilson. There was one big problem with this movie, and it was Evelyn Brent as Francine Dale. She looked old, tired, and beaten down. Brent who was 33 when this came out, looked like she was about 50. I have seen six other Brent movies (Including "Interference" with Powell), and this is the worst she looked. She looked especially weak when compared to Powell and the much older George Sidney, both of whom had much more energy then he did. Spoilers Ahead: How and why, Powell wanted to and (ended up with) her I will never know, they had no chemistry together. This movie would have been a classic if Knapp or, need I mention, Myrna Loy would have been Francine. Still I give it eight of ten stars, despite Brent.
Tide of Empire (1929)
This is an excellent movie, and the third time I saw Renee Adore ('The Big Parade' & (my favorite) 'The Mating Call' being the others). The first thing I need to comment on was the comments section. 1: Someone said there is almost no comedy in the movie. Spoilers Ahead: Indeed there was such as when the "Judge" (talk about a loose definition of the Title), was putting outlaw Cannon (Fred Kohler),on trial with his gang, and when asked how do you plead and Cannon Said "Not Guilty.' and the "Judge" condemned him for lying. Then before hanging (a lynch mob mentality if there ever was one) "Do You have anything to say?' "Not that it will do you any good." 2: It was about misjudging the character of Josephita Guerrero (Renee Adore), and why Dermond D'Arcy (Tom Keene), would do whatever is necessary to win her love. Keep in mind, this is Renee Adore, one of the most beautiful women in Motion Picture History, so what guy would not try? Besides that, she is not a bad person at all, remember she has lived a very Aristocratic life, so she thinks that everyone is beneath her. By the way, one that essentially coming to an end because of gold, and the fact that her father Don Guerrero (George Fawcett), and especially her brother Romualdo (William Collier Jr.), are weak men who lose money on gambling: The father on a horse race, and Romualdo losing the father's money that he got for selling sheep, betting on cock fights. The fact the father had to sell his sheep, should be a clue that the family was living above their means. Can Dermond, win her love? Of course, because she learns how much he is willing to sacrifice everything for her. Including his prize horse (the one that won the race, that her father bet on (her father said "A good horse is worth more than gold")). What he does is save Romualdo from hanging (he became an outlaw with Cannon), by cutting his ropes, and telling him to punch him and take my horse, and Romualdo tells him to "Take care of my sister." As he gets away, they finally kiss. Is this a flawless movie? No the sound effects like the rooster crowing were not good. But the ending which you would NOT see later once the Production Code came into effect (Romualdo getting away), and of course, just looking at Renee Adore makes it worthwhile to watch. 9/10 stars.
I really liked this movie despite NOT liking Sci-Fi or Lucy Liu. This is a very interesting film, with lots of tricks involved, but Love overcoming all. Spoilers Ahead: It is where Jeremy Northam plays two very different roles: Uber Spy Sebastian Rooks, and average person, Morgan Sullivan. Rooks has himself brainwashed into believing that he is Sullivan, so he could infiltrate and steal computer software from two companies named Digicore and its rival Sunways Systems. These two companies with that software, basically can brainwash people into believing anything. His real goal was to get the power for himself, and sell it to the highest bidder. One actress that I cannot stand is Lucy Liu (except in this movie), she plays a Femme Fatale named Rita Grant, who you have no idea is out to help or hurt him (of course, you find out she is his only ally)). I like he way you see Northam go from weak businessman to much stronger person (even his face changes), as the Rooks Character starts to take over. To me, the most interesting part of the movie, was the final several minutes, where Rooks set things up to kill the Heads of Security at both Companies, and even created a program where he (as Sullivan), is supposed to "Kill Rita Grant With Extreme Prejudice." The way the movie ends is that although the Sullivan Identity shoots her, he cannot kill her, and although Rooks still some of the characteristics of his previous life (drinking fine whiskey and smoking (which is what Sullivan did not do)), it is the Sullivan Identity (the one who loves Rita), that takes over. In fact, on a sailboat, both Rita and Rooks/Sullivan see the disk that gave that order that "Sullivan" could not carry out, because the "Power Of Love" was Greater. 9/10 stars
Seven Psychopaths (2012)
I wish I could find something besides the Shih Tzu, that was actually likable about this movie. Basically the only movie I disliked more than this movie was "Machete." I did not find it the least bit funny, and I like Sam Peckinpah movies so I have a strong stomach for violence, and harsh language, provided of course, there is a reason for it, such as "Running Scared", "2 Days In The Valley" or "True Romance" Naturally, the worst part of the movie (spoilers ahead), is the ending where the cops just let Marty (Colin Farrell), retrieve a tape recorder from the murdered, Hans (Christopher Walken) because he was a friend. Give me a break, anyone ever hear of a crime scene? Not to mention how does the dog end up with him? The worst is that stupid killer with the rabbit, who calls Marty at the end and goes away? What was the entire point? Without question ZERO Stars.
Love for Rent (2005)
Angie Cepeda And Marita Roca Are Knockouts
The only reasons to watch this movie are the women. Angie Cepeda who is simply a knockout (as is her Cousin Monica( Martita Roca)) and if Angie was not in just about every scene, the movie would be unwatchable. Its about Sofia (Angie) a Colombian Student, who in order to remain in this country makes some very bad decisions like marrying someone for a Green Card (who is a crook and robs her of everything), and being a Surrogate Mother to a Wealthy Couple for $50,000. Of course, being its a Romantic Comedy, she ends up not paying a severe price for them. Although to be honest, the movie is not funny (more like a light drama) Why? Because there were no funny scenes in the movie except those involving the Orphan Kid Max, and one elevator scene with Sofia and her true love, Dr. Neil Gardner (Ken Marino), who knows how to make her laugh, with a telephone. Spoilers Ahead: Of course, Sofia and Neil end up married, and adopt Max, and live happily ever after. How Angie did not become a big star in this Country? No idea, she is a knockout. 7/10 Stars.
The Last Boy Scout (1991)
Bruce Willis's Best Film
I am a huge Bruce Willis fan, I have seen almost film he ever made, even obscure Titles like "Lucky Number Slevin" and "Breakfast Of Champions" and this movie has everything you could possibly want in an movie, including his best performance. It starts with Writer Shane Black, Producer Joel Silver and Director Tony Scott, including the opening where Bill Medley sings "Friday Night's A Great Night For Football." Where should I start? Lets look at his ex Secret Service Agent turned Private Eye Joe Hollenback. Hallenback was the most abused PI since the days of "Harry O's" Harry Orwell (David Janssen), and Jim Rockford (James Garner), characters that obviously were inspirations because you actually see Joe Santos (Becker), playing Hallenback's only friend Bessalo (in a similar friend/Cop role that he played on the "Rockford Files.") What does he have to deal with? Utter disrespect from everyone around him, including his wife Sarah (Chelsea Field), sleeping with the corrupt, woman beating Senator Baynard (Chelcie Ross), who got him fired from the Secret Service, for breaking his nose. By the way this would be repeated the next year, in "Live Wire" where Danny O'Neill (Pierce Brosnan), has exactly the same issue (including O'Neill having to try and save Corrupt Senator Frank Traveres, like Hallenback must do here. For as Jimmy Dix (Damon Waynas) said "I figure you gotta be the dumbest guy in the world, Joe. You're trying the save the life of the man who ruined your career, and avenge the death of the guy that f--ked your wife." Even his daughter Darian(Danielle Harris) has no love or respect for him. Throw in the mob, crooked Football Team Owner, Sheldon Marcone (Noble Willingham), alcoholism, and suffering constant physical abuse, and you know that he has issues. Of course, he has plenty of One Liners that would make John McClane ("Die Hard") blush. Including (Spoilers ahead) a scene involving Darian, Dix, who becomes his reluctant partner, a psychotic hit man named Milo (Taylor Negron), the mob, and a puppet, that is a classic. The funny thing is Hallenback has the LEAST amount of issues here. Spoilers: For example: Dix has a Coke problem and his girlfriend Halle Berry is a Prostitute who gets murdered at the orders of Marcone. Does Hallenback win in the end? Of course, check out his "Stadium Dance" and final battle against Milo, but how he does it is something to behold. Also what Dix does to Senator Baynard are Classics, of course, the "Puppet Scene" that I will not spoil. a very easy 10/10 Stars.
The Lost Squadron (1932)
Von Stroheim's Film
The main reason to watch this movie is Erich Von Stroheim as Von Furst, he basically steals every single scene is in, and (spoilers) when he gets his you cheer. I like the Aviation scenes as well, and how "The Lost Squadron" portrays the difficulty of four servicemen returning home. Another standout is Dorothy Jordan as "The Pest." (the Sister of one of the Airmen Woody (Robert Armstrong)). The biggest complaint is about Mary Astor, who is the former love interest of Woody (Richard Dix), who gives it all up for Hollywood. Oddly enough, the exact opposite of Jordan, who did it for Producer Merian C. Cooper. This actress does nothing for me, and never did, and her disappearing act at the end does not help either. Was not a big fan of Joel McRae's (Red) in this movie either, a very weak character, who (spoilers)is the only one of the Airmen to survive (and ends up with "The Pest"). 8/10 Stars. It would be 10 without Astor & McRae.
Night Nurse (1931)
Excellent Pre-Code Movie
This is a Pre-Code movie where bootlegging gangster Mortie (Ben Lyon), is actually more ethical than anyone in the entire movie, except of course, Lora Hart (Barbara Stanwyck). Spoilers ahead: You see that when Lora is trying to save two little girls from being poisoned to death, the only one who really helps her is Mortie, who knows what she is about by taking a bullet out of him, and not reporting the shooting to the police (at risk of her job). However, this movie is a must see to see Clark Gable (Nick the chauffeur), playing the most evil role of his career. There are others where he is a bad guy ("Manhattan Melodrama", "A Free Soul" & "The Painted Desert" come to mind (he was not too nice in "San Francisco" or "Sporting Blood" either), but NOWHERE was he outright sinister, like in this movie, and I liked the fact that he got knocked off. Gable is the main reason to see this movie, but Stanwyck is not far behind. There is one scene, where Nick punches out Lora, and later on, you see a bandage on her chin. It makes you think that yes, it was Barbara not a stunt double that took the punch from Gable, that is how tough Stamwyck was. The ending is quite interesting because of why Lora & Mortie ended up together: They knew the other was strong enough to do so.
Sporting Blood (1931)
A Must See
Is this a perfect film? No, you do not see Clark Gable for the first 40 minutes of the film, it is really about "Miss Ruby (Madge Evans), and what she must do to get "Tommy Boy" her beloved horse from various owners, the worst of which are the Ludeking's (Angie & Bill), played by Marie Provost (who had one of, if not the most Horrible Hollywood fates in History) & Hallam Cooley. The horse, is used by them as a tool to make money in bets until it is broken down. Eventually Angie (the worst one), leaves Bill after he ends up in debt to gangsters (they promised wins to the gangsters), and he knows he will get killed over that. But, Ruby is able to convince Bill to do the right thing, and give "Tommy Boy" to her. They bought the horse from Owner/Trainer (Jim Rellence) Ernest Torrence, for $40,000, so he could save his stable. Of course, the goal is to return the horse to health so he can run in (and hopefully win), the Kentucky Derby, which of course, he does. Gable is interesting to watch as Gangster Warren 'Rid' Riddell (in his first starring role), and after Ruby asks why are you doing this (helping her and 'Tommy Boy")he utters a famous line that is still with us today: "Tommy Boy deserves a New Deal." Of course, being that it is Pre-Code, 'Rid' does end up with Ruby at the end, which is quite different then what happened Gangster Blackie Gallagher (another 'Decent' Gangster) in "Manhattan Melodrama" in 1934, AFTER the Code was put into place. Very highly recommended for Gable, the horse, and a very beautiful Madge Evans.